Gartner Hype Cycle on the digital transformation of the workplace

More and more companies are gearing their processes up for digital transformation. The unlimited availability of data and information is transforming business models. But not only will processes and products become digital, the workplace of the future will also change in the drastically.


But companies must not forget one thing: the employees don’t want to be left out in this increasingly agile and innovative environment. They want to be more flexible, mobile and digital. The possibilities of such a digital workplace are manifold. Gartner Inc. has therefore published its own hype cycle on the subject of Digital Workplace 2017 and has compiled the main emerging technologies.

The Hype Cycle is designed to help entrepreneurs identify trends at an early stage and integrate them into their business processes. In this way, the commitment and the satisfaction of the employees can be increased.


Gartner Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace
Gartner Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace 2017 (Source: Gartner Inc.)


As is customary in the Gartner Hype Cycle, the technology considered is divided into:

  1. Innovation Trigger: Becoming aware of the technology and first projects that arouse considerable public interest.
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: The technology is at the summit of attention. Unrealistic and enthusiastic expectations are published and discussed.
  3. Trough of Disillusionment: As the technology cannot meet the expectations built up previously, the attention of disappointed enthusiasts and media representatives sinks to the low point.
  4. Slope of Enlightenment: The new technology is considered realistically with its strengths and weaknesses in this phase.
  5. Plateau of Productivity: The new possibilities offered by the technology are accepted as advantages and business processes are developed.

The following trends can be identified for the digital workplace:


Augmented Data Discovery

In times of Big Data, data needs to be analyzed faster and more efficiently. The “augmented data discovery” trend will gain momentum within the next two to five years and fundamentally change processes.

The method not only reduces the time spent on data analysis, but also dramatically reduces the error rate. Segments, clusters and interrelationships are automatically taken into account during the analysis and are included in the analysis result.

Personnel Analytics

The next few years of the workplace will be dominated by analysis. Personal Analytics enables personalized forecasts to be made for the user. Systems that make use of this trend are primarily digital assistance systems for health, finance and purchasing.

Gartner predicts that personal assistants are mainstream by 2020 and move into many living rooms and offices. Like the chatbots, they not only improve user retention, but also increase the information accuracy and diversity a user can have.

Virtual Assistants (VAs)

In the next five to ten years, virtual personal assistants will even reach the next level. Through the continuous development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, they will support the users even better or completely automate some simple tasks.

Especially at the workplace this is an enormous relief, as time-consuming tasks can be easily outsourced. This is made possible by the expansion of the Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs), which enable seamless speech recognition.


“We expect application suite vendors to increasingly implement CUIs in front of business applications, leading to hundreds of different chat interfaces,”, Matt Cain, Vice President Gartner Inc.

It is unclear, however, whether there will be a market leader in the field of personal assistants. Rather, users will take the service that is mostly suited to optimize their work.


Another trend to be expected is the increasing gamification of the workplace. Processes can be made much more attractive and exciting by means of mixed reality than it has been the case so far.



This change in several processes, whether it is analyzing or handling tasks, will fundamentally determine the future of our work. The Gartner Hype Cycle gives a good overview of what is and what will come in 2017.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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